Monday – Gun Day

There’s a non-hilarious anecdote to open the proceedings, before we get back to the horror at hand.

When I wrote about Sir Bob Geldof a few weeks back, I forgot to insert my infinitesimal anecdote. My family were celebrating the 21st birthday of the youngest of my siblings a few years back at an ever-popular riverside restaurant in my home town of Perth…

Quick aside: about a week or so back, on finding out that I came from the western-most Australian capital city, my Lyft driver said, “Most isolated city in the world!” It’s the achingly familiar catch-cry of residents and visitors alike, to which I’m not sure that I actually hold because there are plenty of other contenders, like Auckland, or Honolulu, or others that you can google. BTW, Lyft-er had been to my home town, and proceeded to tell me about happy times spent at The Court Hotel and Connections. As my fellow Perthlings can attest, they knew how to have a good time!

…Anyway, sitting outdoors at fancy restaurant surrounded by large family-of-origin and their spouses, and who walks in to also sit on the balcony, but the aforementioned knighted gentleman! “WTF is he doing in Perth?” was on the lips of the collected Cameron party. Til someone remembered that it was St Patrick’s Day. In our defense, we were all focused on other celebrations – the birthday dinner had been slightly delayed to coincide with Turbo and I coming to town in time for the impending nuptials of a couple also seated at that table. March is a big month for me and my people 😉

St Patrick’s Day is also the anniversary of my move to the US, which happened in 2012. Yup, six years this Saturday. A little while back I realised that I’ve practiced here longer than I have – in either of my careers – within Australia. Explains a few things..

Well, that was an unusually gentle introduction. Now the guns.

We start this week in Cobb County, Georgia, where a Canton resident, Chad Erik Roberts (35) was killed by two officers of the Woodstock Police Department, Matt Davis and William Vincent. Roberts had first contact with the police at 10:09pm on the 31st of December, when he was stopped in a parking lot next to a gas station. From the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News:

“The driver of the vehicle initially spoke to the officer but then fled in his vehicle, striking the officer,” Rich said. “Officers with the Canton Police Department pursued the vehicle into the Woodstock area.”

Woodstock Police and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies joined in on the chase and a tire deflation device was used to disable Roberts’ vehicle, which came to a stop in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 near the Wade Green Road exit, investigators said.

“The driver exited the vehicle and presented a gun during contact with law enforcement,” Rich said. “Two officers with the Woodstock Police Department fired their weapons during the incident. The driver sustained gunshot wounds and died as a result of his injuries.”

Later in the same article, it states that, “The Canton officer who was hit by the man’s car was transported to a local hospital, treated and released, Canton Police Chief Mark Mitchell said.” while the two officers who shot Roberts were put on administrative leave pending an investigation.

With initial contact between the police and Rogers around 10pm – where he apparently ran over the foot of an officer as he departed – my thought was to double-check that this shooting was not misfiled as a January 1 event. But it turns out that at 2am, around four hours later, the shooting took place on the blocked-off interstate highway, once the victim/”driver exited the vehicle and presented a gun during contact with law enforcement.” (From the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.) If you think it sounds odd, you’re not alone, and it being an officer-involved crime has given it a bit of extra attention.

I was unable to find out anything about the guns of any of the people involved. The Woodstock Police Department falls in Cherokee County, GA, and after much research I found out that they carry the Glock 23. It’s not the best reference, but the neighbouring Cobb County PD publish in their policy documents that they use a Glock 22, so this choice has a bit of weight behind it. Georgia’s law enforcement seem to have a lot of Glocks in their register, and they probably belong to a huge swathe of the rest of the population due to Georgia’s “Guns Everywhere” laws, (Al Jazeera) as well as a couple of cities who have managed to make owning guns mandatory. (I am not linking to that data.) The 23 is meant to have the same dimensions as the Glock 19, excepting weight, to account for the slightly bigger round you can fire in the 23. And the 19 is a slightly scaled-down version of the 17, which is the first officer-fired gun that I drew in this series.

So here’s my second Glock, but the first drawing of a Glock 23. There’s two, one each for Davis and Vincent, the officers who fired on Rogers.

Glock 23
Glock 23

A mentally ill man, James E Lewis, was shot by police near Silver Springs Park, Missouri, at around 3:20am after other forms of pacification had failed. Lewis made the 9-1-1 call to the police revealing his location, during which he threatened to kill his wife – actually his domestic partner, who family members later said were in the process of breaking up. Police revealed that there had been 60 – 65 interactions with Lewis over the course of his life – from burglary to other mental health issues.

Lewis was on a bicycle and had a prolonged – 11 minute – encounter during which he fired his weapon (the officers did not feel threatened at this point so continued with other negotiation methods) and refused to speak with the officers. Only when he pointed the weapon at the officers from a distance of about 10 feet, did three of them open fire at Lewis. Officers Joshua Brown, Daniel Carlson and Brandon Gonzales have been placed on leave pending an investigation.

By contrast with the first incident this week, the guns that officers in the Springfield Police Department were easy to find in their Standard Operating Guidelines. The Department Issued Handgun is a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun. There are a lot of Glocks that take a 9mm cartridge, so I’m going to go with the one I used for the Chicago PD earlier, the Glock 17. Three of them, because of the three police who fired at Lewis.

Glock 17
Glock 17
Glock 17


Ring Master

Melissa does not claim to be a master of the ring form, she admits in this post to only having made about a dozen of the suckers, but others in the show are far more masterful. Get along!

No, not me, I’ve made maybe a dozen rings in my career – but at least four of them will be on show at Bilk Gallery for the opening of Ring Master tonight! This group show of rings by makers from all over the world is a part of the Design Canberra Festival. To get into some jewels designed in AutoCad and handmade by me (with some laser cutting involved, though not in the little number above mind, it was hand-sawn all the way) you’d better get in quick 😉

Did I mention the show is on til Christmas eve? Timing!


Ring Master – opening next Friday, Oct 27th

Ring Master – I’ve just sent more rings to Bilk for this upcoming show!

Ring Master, an exhibition exploring the notion and designs of the humble (and not so humble) ring. Featuring rings by; Helen Britton, Julia deVille, Johannes Kuhnen, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Carlier Makigawa, Godwin Baum, Julie Blyfield,  Melissa Cameron, Cinnamon Lee, Chris Robertson, Sean O’Connell, Jane Bowden, Bin Dixon-Ward, Philip Noakes, Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro, Mikki Trail, Sam Mertens and Mio Kuhnen (and many more).

This year Bilk Gallery is pleased to be part of Design Canberra Festival 2017 with Ring Master, an exhibition exploring the notion and designs of the humble (and not so humble) ring.

Sale now on!

In Sydney? Get along to the Studio 20/17 SALE!

Image of jewellery work made from a found jam jar lid by Melissa Cameron. Photograph by Melissa Cameron.

If you’re anywhere near Sydney get on over to Studio 2017 Project Space at Bridget is having a SALE! There are a lot of artists involved in this space, including the maestro Bridget herself, so it’s worth it just to check out what treasures she has stashed around the gallery.

Studio 20/17 are the longest supporters and continuous stockists of my work, so they have quite the back catalogue of pieces, many of which simply aren’t available anywhere else (and some that never were.) This really is your only chance to see and try these works, and to maybe pick yourself out a little something while it’s going for a song!

Open Tuesday to Saturday 11-5pm.
Phone 0411 808 274
Instagram @studio2017_project_space

Sale closes July 1st!


Bro.oches at Bilk – go check ’em out!

Hooray! I’m in a show with Trophy Wife Barbie! Check her out (link goes to Instagram) if you’re not familiar.

This show feature brooches by Melissa Cameron, Marian Hosking, Nick Bastin,
Panjapol Kulpapangkorn, Kath Inglis, Johannes Kuhnen, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen,
Eugenie Keefer Bell, Inari Kiuru, Janice Vitkovsky, Jo Hawley, Jasmine Watson, Larah Nott, Zoe Brand, Laura Eyles and the Trophy Wife Barbie (Annelies Hofmeyr).

Forces now on in Sydney!

Forces, an exhibition in North Sydney at the wonderful Studio 20/17 Project Space, run by Bridget Kennedy

Forces –  10.5.17 – 27.5.17

Fluidity and strength in contemporary jewellery and object practice using steel – the dirty metal
Closing drinks and Artists Talk on Saturday 27th May 2-4pm

An exhibition of contemporary steel art by a selected range of jewellery and object makers, curated by Melbourne artist Sarah Heyward.

The use of steel in contemporary jewellery and object practice is intriguing.  Whilst traditionally used for manufacturing purposes, steel is seductive with a beautiful luster and sheen. Investigations into industrial landscapes, enamel on steel, heat treatment methods, and the repurposed object are all areas in which notable makers have been exploring and engaging with this material within their practice.

“This exhibition explores themes around fluidity and strength in our everyday lives. The push Melisse-Cameron-necklace-neckpeice-forcesand pull of our environment, both in the natural world and political sphere, the forces, which make us feel both fragile and insignificant but also powerful and resilient. At a time where we face potential environmental catastrophes, nature – in which many artists find inspiration – reminds us how merciless the earth’s forces can be. This exhibition hopes to act as a celebration of steel as a material and also the investigations we undertake to make the material speak.” – Sarah Heyward

On Saturday 27th May there will be an Artist Talk accompanied with celebratory drinks from 2-4pm. The artists speaking are Sarah Heyward, Susan Buchanan, and Lindy McSwan; all welcome.

Artists participating: Sarah Heyward, Jin ah Jo, Lindy McSwan, Melissa Cameron, Alicia Carriero, and Susan Buchanan, Inari Kiuru.

Check out the show here:

Studio 20/17 Project Space
53 Ridge Street, North Sydney
Open: 11 – 5 Tues – Sat
+61 411 808 274

or the rest of the images of work on the Studio 20/17 website. It’s a beauty, and I really wish I could be there for the talks, I want to know how the brains work on all three of the attending artists.

Shared Concerns in Canberra

The concerned citizens are having a show, about the concerns that used to concern them. Perhaps these are still their concerns, but perhaps not.

Fellow concerned citizens,

If you’re anywhere near Canberra, please make your way over to Bilk Gallery for the opening of the Shared Concerns exhibition next Friday, the 5th of May. The show, by a small group of artists, is not about our shared concerns, but about individual concerns that we chose to share, with one other participant in the residency, and following exhibition.

Once logged, these concerns were duly responded to, in January to April of last year. These might now be considered more carefree concerns, in that we now live together in a different time. As such, they are a poetic message from the past, addressed to anyone who is willing to hear them. Please go and visit with them, and listen for what you can about the concerns of our former selves.



Kaori Juzu (Denmark/Japan) responds to Dan’s concern ‘sexual’ with this work “In Between #2”
Dan DiCaprio (USA) responds to Kaori’s concern ‘inspiration’ with this work “Barm”

5 years

I moved to the USA. Everything changed. Nothing changed.

Australia and the USA from the Coat Hanger series, 2012. Recycled steel, steel, vitreous enamel.

St Patrick’s day; the middle day of 3 straight days of anniversaries, for me. From the image above I think it’s easy enough to guess what happened to me on the 17th of March 2012. My life, my work, everything changed. But, one can say that about every day that we get to share on this planet. For me, this last 5 years has been full of days like these.

Resist – in a store near you!

Orange is the new black, or is it? Blue is the new colour, the colour of the resistance.


The resistance is growing, and coming to a store near you – at least if you live in Seattle, Vancouver BC, Melbourne or Canberra. I have had people purchase at the trunk show, direct from me (thank you Vancouver jewellery denizens) and make orders for sales in Melbourne and Seattle, and I am so proud that we’ll be hitting $100 made for Islamic Relief USA really shortly.

For those of you who were holding on until the pieces reached your timezone, the Melbourne delivery to Bini Gallery was made yesterday and the Canberra batch (to Bilk, of course!) should arrive by Friday at the latest. Each of those stores will also have a resist neckpiece (like the one below), while the earrings are joined by pins and tiny little pendants I’m calling talismans in Vancouver at The Craft Council of BC and at Danaca Design in Seattle.

Body/Politic - Resist neckpiece

And I have not forgotten you, Perth. Get in touch as I’ll be making arrangements for a special delivery in the next month or so.

Mari Funaki Award 2016

Gallery Funaki in Melbourne is once again hosting the Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery. Head out and see my work in the show!

Funaki Award

For those of y’all in Melbourne, the Mari Funaki award opens next Wednesday, and in it you will find my work from the recent Body Politic show Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot, or RPG for short.

From the Gallery Funaki website:

August 24 – September 24, 2016


The Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery is a biennial international Award that showcases excellence in international and Australian contemporary jewellery. Thirty-five artists have been shortlisted from an international field of 413 entries from 48 countries.

The winners will be announced at the opening on Tuesday 23 August 2016. The selected exhibitors are:

Blanche Tilden (Australia) / Céline Sylvestre (France) / David Bielander (Switzerland/Germany) / Doris Betz (Germany) / Dovile Bernadisiute (Lithuania) / Ela Bauer (Netherlands) / Emi Fukuda (Japan) / Florian Milker (Germany) / Frieda Doerfer (Germany) / Genevieve Howard (Ireland) / Henriette Schuster (Germany) / Inari Kiuru (Finland/Australia) / Karl Fritsch (Germany/New Zealand) / Katie Collins (Australia) / Katja Prins (Netherlands) / Katrin Feulner (Germany) / Lauren Tickle (USA) / Léa Mazy (France) / Lisa Walker (New Zealand) / Manon van Kouswijk (Netherlands/Australia) / Melanie Isverding (Germany) / Melinda Young (Australia) / Melissa Cameron (Australia) / Michihiro Sato (Japan) / Nadja Soloviev (Germany) / Naoko Inuzuka (Japan/Australia) / Paul Adie (Scotland) / Shachar Cohen (Israel) / Sarah Johnston (Australia) / Selen Özus (Turkey) / Sophie Baumgärtner (Germany) / Thanh-Truc Nguyen (Germany) / WenMiao Yeh (Taiwan) / Yong Joo Kim (South Korea) / Yu Fang Chi (Taiwan)

The opening is by invitation only, and despite receiving an invite I’m going to have to sit this one out. I hope that all you Melbournians can get along to see the rare treat of such a broad and deep pool of jewellery artists gathered into the one space.

Image credit: Gallery Funaki